When applying for most if not all jobs within the construction industry one of the first questions you will be asked is 'do you have a CSCS Card and is it valid?
If your answer is 'no' to either of these questions and you want to work on-site you will need to apply for a CSCS Card to access a construction site.
in this blog we will help you answer all things CSCS this blog includes
- What is a CSCS card?
- Why do you need a CSCS card?
- How to apply for your CSCS card and where to take the test
- How much does a CSCS test cost?
- What to expect in a CSCS test
What is a CSCS card?
A CSCS card, which stands for 'Construction Skills Certification Scheme' card, is a qualification card that demonstrates an individual's competency and knowledge in the construction industry within the United Kingdom. The CSCS scheme was established to improve health and safety standards on construction sites and to ensure that individuals working in the industry have the necessary skills to perform their jobs safely and effectively.
Why do you need a CSCS card:
- Verification of Skills:
- The CSCS card serves as a means to verify that a person working on a construction site has the required skills, training, and qualifications for their specific job role.
- Health and Safety:
- By holding a CSCS card, individuals are expected to have a basic understanding of health and safety practices in the construction industry. This contributes to creating a safer working environment on construction sites.
- Industry Recognition:
- Many employers and contractors in the construction industry require workers to hold a valid CSCS card before they can work on their sites. It has become a standard requirement for access to construction sites.
- Different Card Types:
- CSCS cards come in various colours, each representing different skill levels and roles within the construction industry. For example, there are specific cards for labourers, supervisors, managers, and various trades.
- Training and Certification:
- To obtain a CSCS card, individuals typically need to complete relevant training and achieve a recognized qualification or certification in their field. This may involve completing a construction-related course, apprenticeship, or demonstrating years of experience in the industry.
- Renewal and Upkeep:
- CSCS cards usually have an expiration date, and individuals may need to renew their cards periodically. This encourages ongoing professional development and ensures workers stay updated with industry standards and practices.
It's important to note that the CSCS card is specific to the UK construction industry, and other countries may have different certification schemes. If you plan to work in the UK construction sector, obtaining the appropriate CSCS card for your role is often a mandatory requirement imposed by employers and site operators.
How to apply for your CSCS card
To apply for the green Labourer card you will need to have passed a CITB Health, Safety & Environment Test for operatives within the last two years and have completed the QCF Level 1 Award in Health and Safety in a Construction Environment. This is a lifetime qualification that only needs to be completed once.
CSCS also accepts a number of alternative courses to the Level 1 Award. Most of these alternative courses need to be refreshed every 3 – 5 years before the Labourer card can be renewed. A list of these courses can be found at www.cscs.uk.com/labourer.
Where can you take a CSCS test?
You complete your CITB Health, Safety and Environment Test at a local test centre. You can find a list of test centres and book available times to take the exam on the CITB website. Should you choose an alternative qualification to a QCF Level 1 (as per the link above), you are able to complete a number of these tests at home. If you live near our Cornwall office, you can take you test from the comfort of our TR2 Recruitment meeting room. It's also a great opportunity to come and have a cup of coffee and meet the team!
How much does a CSCS test cost?
The cost of the test is usually at a small cost to yourself but will have long-term benefits of being able to access a job in a construction site.
The CITB Health, Safety and Environment Test (which is compulsory for all CSCS cards) costs £22.50. The Level 1 or alternative to the Level 1 Award vary in cost depending on which route you decide to take. The COSAC Safe2Site online qualification currently costs £99.00 + VAT but use the link above to choose the best option for you.
The processing of the CSCS Green Labourer Card is currently £36.00
How long does a CSCS card last?
depending on which CSCS card you need to apply for they can last between 3 to 5 years. After your card expires you will need to redo the test in order to renew your card.
What to expect in a CSCS test
The CSCS Test is made up of 50 questions covering five core knowledge areas.
- Legal and Management
- Health and Welfare
- General Safety
- High Risk Activities
You will have 45 minutes to answer 50 questions, you can expect questions based on behavioural studies which will examine your understanding of health, safety and environmental issues and how to behave safely on site.
Are you looking for a job in construction?
TR2 Recruitment has an array of roles available in the industry at construction sites across the UK, get in touch with the TR2 Team today to find construction job opportunities.
Discover the available options here, or get in touch with our expert team focused on recruitment in the construction industry.